Friday, August 18, 2006

This morning's dream was about Benji and Daddy. Benji had taken possession of my new glasses, which, he said, allowed him to see more clearly than his own. He also wanted to "stay with Granddaddy," who lived next door. Benji was about 12 years old and was becoming even more independent and defiant than he had been. We were having this conversation in the carport doorway to their kitchen; I was standing in the carport looking up at Daddy and Benji, who were in the house. When Daddy said it was ok, I relented, but I wanted my glasses back. He had removed the nose pads, and when I realized that, I told him he could keep them. I didn't understand how glasses without nosepads could be comfortable, but he said he liked them better that way.

While it was good to visit with Daddy again, living with Benji during adolescence is not something I would ever choose to repeat, one of the most stressful times of my life, without a doubt. But I was warmly moved by his desire to see more clearly and to "stay with Granddaddy." He was that charming, persuasive Benji, who knew what he wanted and was prepared to stand his ground, the one I had trouble saying no to. His strongest ally was behind him 100%, encouraging, accepting, providing safe haven during a troubling time.

Maybe the stress relief I've needed was represented in this dream, the troubled one turning to his grandfather for comfort and support. I do feel less stressed today than I did yesterday when my IBS told me in no uncertain terms that changes have to be made.

Mike called while I was shopping at Kohl's, whining about the DVD player not working right, wanting me to come home and fix it. I'd already done all I knew to do it earlier, including putting new batteries in the remote. Nothing worked. When I told him I did not know anything else to do to it, he exploded and started screaming at me over the cell phone. I clicked off.

After he calmed down, he called back and apologized. But in the meantime, my gut did nasty things to me. It had to be the stress that triggered it. That's happened before. I need to just turn off the cell phone while I'm shopping. especially if it's mainly for relaxation.

I read a helpful article in the AARP magazine last night about caregivers and chronic stress, and how unmanaged stress will shorten one's life. If I think of Mike's lack of emotional control as an unfortunate result of his stroke, his outbursts don't bother me nearly as bad as when I view them as immaturity and irresponsibility, or a character flaw. That leads to anger, resentment, feeling victimized.

Truth is, it's not all one cause or the other, but a combination of the two, but my perception of the situation affects me more than the situation itself. I have to stay in responsible adult mode all the time. I'm not his parent, I'm not his child, we are both adults, and as long as we relate to one another that way, things flow much more smoothly. That seems to be more difficult for him to remember than for me, but he understands the concept and switches roles when reminded.

Ricky's purchase of the lot has moved one step closer to reality. One of the major obstacles has been overcome, two more to go. I hope it works out.

In further reflection of the dream, these verses came to me: Do not let your heart be believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions... I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, there you may be also...peace I leave with you... my peace I give not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

1 comment:

Zoilus said...

Oh surely I couldn't have been any more trouble in my teens than you were in yours. But I guess I've always been this stubborn, huh?

Sorry the stress is getting to you. What's your plan to deal with it?

And are the other Bordens moving back to MS? Didn't they just build a house?